Pros, Cons and Costs of Popular Deck Types
Decks, like most items in home building and renovation, are a feature that should be tailored to each buyer’s unique needs. With dozens of materials available, the decision of what type of deck to build is not an easy one. This article reviews a few popular options and their pros and cons, considering cost, durability, maintenance, and other factors:
- Pros: Lowest initial cost; most common type of decking. Pressure treated pine is an inexpensive option. STK (select tight knot) cedar is most common due to the appearance and price (starts at $6 per sqft). Premium products include more expensive tropical hardwoods and redwoods.
- Cons: Frequent maintenance required increases long term cost. Weathering will cause colour change, warping, and cracking without proper maintenance.
- Cost: Starts at $6 per square foot, installed.
- Pros: The look of wood without the maintenance. No sanding or staining – ever. Mildew, slip, discoloration, and warp resistant. Environmentally friendly. 25+ year warranty standard.
- Cons: More expensive up front. Can be heavier than natural wood. Varying levels of slip and mildew resistance between brands. Lower grade composite can warp or discolour over time.
- Cost: Starting at $25 per square foot installed.
- Pros: Waterproof and Low maintenance, UV and mildew resistant. Available in a variety of patterns. Can be applied on roofs and over living space. 10-year+ warranty standard.
- Cons: Does not have the look of a traditional deck. Many suppliers require professional installation, rather than DIY.
- Cost: Starting at $7.50 per square foot professionally installed.
- Pros: Lightweight and long-lasting. Some mimic the look of wood. Highly water and salt resistant for proximity to oceans. No rot, warping or slivers. Dissipates heat well.
- Cons: Noisy, slippery when frozen, more technical difficulty to install, higher cost.
- Cost: Starting at $15 per square foot installed.
- Pros: Customizable colour and texture. Waterproofing system. Can be used over existing membranes. No need to remove siding. Seamless for decreased risk of membrane permeation. Repair burns, wear, or scratches simply with an additional coat.
- Cons: Can only apply in ideal weather. Waterproofing is subject to intergrity of substrate.
- Cost: Starting at $10 per square foot installed.